The startup UDrone gives an idea of what the control systems of the future will be like, neurointerfaces for communication between humans and machines. In the current version, this is a duo of a quadcopter and a headset, and the copter is just a toy. It is lightweight, equipped with protective frames, flies on a single charge for no more than 8 minutes and can only lift a small 8 megapixel camera. All the fun in the EEGSmart headset.
The EEGSmart looks like a headphone, but you need to wear it on your forehead, not the top of your head. Inside there are EEG, EMG sensors, an electrooculographic sensor, gyroscopes and accelerators, as well as a secret mechanism for amplifying the neurosignal. The purpose of the headset is to track the movements of the operator's head and control his focus on the drone.
All commands are given by head movements and transmitted via a conventional radio signal, but you need to constantly concentrate on the drone as an object of attention. There is a training section in the app for getting concentration skills. Blinking their eyes, the operators control the camera of the drone. Jaw movements are responsible for climb and landing. Head tilts are interpreted as maneuvers, but the system works in jerks, turning the drone at once by 45 degrees, so far we are not talking about a smooth flight.
Reviews of such an interface are mixed, from delight to multi-page well-reasoned criticism. At the same time, everyone who has tested UDrone and EEGSmart willingly agrees that the future lies with such technologies. The drone + headset kits will go on sale in the US on March 12th for $ 279.